July 31, 2018

About Valve's Plain Hierarchy

About Valve’s Plain Hierarchy

A couple of years ago I read about Valve’s ‘plain hierarchy’ way of management. The idea was that every developer/artist/writer is consciousness individual and they all are capable of self-organization, and this approach would deliver excellent results.

Early then I wasn’t sure about this idea. I was not able to say the exact reason, but I had a feeling that something was wrong.

When I’ve learned a bit about The System Theory it became more evident that a system is not equal to the sum of all components of that system - additional features are emerging as the result of combining simple elements.

Also, human nature should not be discarded. Wish to find the right place in some hierarchy is sitting deeply in our brains and if there is no hierarchy, then humans are creating it unconsciously.

There is an excellent example of a plain hierarchy - ‘kolkhoz’ (collective farm) in USSR. No need to say about the results.

So it’s absolutely no surprise that Valve’s plain self-organizing collective naturally have evolved into something… wrong. As described in this article: https://www.pcgamer.com/ex-valve-employee-describes-ruthless-industry-politics/

By the way, side effects of that can be seen from the outside: what is the last cool and successful thing from Valve? Why is Steam app so terrible?

Where is Half-Life 3?

© Dmitry Tabakerov, 2018

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